Burnsville shooting suspect identified; criminal history includes loss of gun possession rights

Suspect in killing of 3 first responders in Burnsville identified

Suspect in killing of 3 first responders in Burnsville identified

Authorities on Monday confirmed the identity of the suspect accused of killing three first responders on Sunday in Burnsville.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) says 38-year-old Shannon Gooden is the man who shot and killed Burnsville police officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and Burnsville firefighter and paramedic Adam Finseth. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says Elmstrand was shot multiple times, Ruge in the chest, and Finseth in the right arm and torso.

The deadly confrontation started as a domestic incident near 33rd Avenue and East Burnsville Parkway shortly before 2 a.m. When it ended, the three first responders and the suspect were dead and a fourth first responder — Sgt. Adam Medlicott — was hospitalized. The city says Medlicott was released from the hospital on Monday and is now recovering at home, and dozens of Minnesotans came out to show support and pay respects to the first responders on Monday.

The city has announced a fundraiser for people to donate to help the families of the fallen first responders and noted it’s the only contribution site the city is part of, urging people to beware of scammers. Donations can be made to Law Enforcement Labor Services here, and donors should write “Burnsville Heroes” in the comments. Non-monetary contributions can be brought to Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville.

Early Tuesday morning, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Gooden died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

The BCA described the suspect as being heavily armed and holed up inside a home. Court records reveal that Gooden should’ve never had access to those guns to begin with.

In 2008, he was convicted of second-degree assault in Dakota County, which also carried a lifetime ban on gun possession. In 2020, he petitioned to have those rights restored but a judge denied it, citing other encounters with police and two orders of protection filed against him alleging domestic assault and abuse.

Because of the Presidents Day holiday, courthouses were closed Monday, preventing access to the full picture of his court history. It’s also unclear how exactly he obtained the guns.

On Monday, state lawmakers paused for a moment of silence at the Capitol.

“Criminals don’t follow the law, and we have to be better prepared on the whole criminal justice system to react,” Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said.

“We do background checks, we’ve got the red flag laws, all these are pieces of the puzzle and data shows that they will have an effect and reducing violence in our communities, but you’re not going to catch every situation, it’s just not possible,” Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) added.